Cookeville Bar Owner Arrested for Impersonating Officer
by Kim Gebbia
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - A Cookeville bar owner is out on bond after deputies say he lied about being an officer and handcuffed one of his customers.
It happened at CB's Grill in Cookeville early Sunday morning. Two deputies drove through the parking lot for a routine check when they saw something unusual.
"He saw a man in handcuffs which of course got his attention,." said Sheriff David Andrews.
Officers spotted 20-year-old Jacob Dawson in handcuffs in the back of a car, but it wasn't a cop car and there wasn't an officer in sight. The arrest report stated the bar's owner, Christopher Brent Webb, came up to the deputies and told them he handcuffed the customer because he suspected he was drinking illegally in the bar and in the parking lot.
The report also stated Webb told the 20-year-old he was a U.S. Marshal.
"The owner presented himself as a U.S. Marshal and put the young man in cuff's which of course is a no-no," Andrews said.
The police report said Webb not only claimed to be a U.S. Marshal and made a false arrest, but that he searched the young man's car wearing a weapon, bullet-proof vest and black gloves.
Webb spoke with NewsChannel5 by phone and he said he did put cuffs on Dawson, but only because he was concerned he would be drinking and driving.
"I went outside to speak to him you know to say don't be doing this it's going to get you in trouble, you're going to have a wreck or something, you are not supposed to be driving," said Webb.
Nettie Myers, a bartender at nearby Players Sports Bar heard about the incident.
"I think it's ridiculous I don't think he has the right to do that," said Myers.
Myers has seen her fair share of rowdy customers, but said the best thing to do would be call the cops.
That's exactly what Sheriff Andrews said should have happened if anyone suspected underage drinking, or drinking and driving. He said neither are an excuse to impersonate an officer.
"It's a danger to society and I'm glad these officers pulled up before it got out of hand," said Andrews.
The incident did end an arrest. Webb was charged with impersonating an officer, something he denies he ever did.
"They said I misrepresented myself as a U.S. Marshal. I never did that and I would never do that," said Webb.
Dawson also ended up with a real arrest. Deputies found out he had a warrant out for a failure to appear in court.
Webb posted a $500 bond but Sheriff Andrews said he could be back in court to face additional charges including false imprisonment since he admitted to handcuffing the young man. His court date is set for October 11.